According to Wikipedia, “Michel Eyquem, Sieur de Montaigne, also known as the Lord of Montaigne, was one of the most significant philosophers of the French Renaissance. He is known for popularizing the essay as a literary genre. His work is noted for its merging of casual anecdotes and autobiography with intellectual insight.” He was born February 28, 1533, and he died September 13, 1592. He had a French nationality. Over time he wrote several different essays in his life. According to Wikipedia, “The Essays of Michel de Montaigne are contained in three books and 107 chapters of varying length. They were originally written in Middle French and were originally published in the Kingdom of France. Montaigne’s stated design in writing, publishing and revising the Essays over the period from approximately 1570 to 1592 was to record ‘some traits of my character and of my humours.’ The Essays were first published in 1580 and cover a wide range of topics.” The essays were originally published in March 1580 and were originally written in Middle French. The book was originally titled Essais and wrote it in the literary genre essay. According to Wikipedia, “Montaigne wrote in a rather crafted rhetoric designed to intrigue and involve the reader, sometimes appearing to move in a stream-of-thought from topic to topic and at other times employing a structured style that gives more emphasis to the didactic nature of his work.” According to Britannica, “Montaigne’s Essays thus incorporate a profound skepticism concerning the human being’s dangerously inflated claims to knowledge and certainty but also assert that there is no greater achievement than the ability to accept one’s being without either contempt or illusion, in the full realization of its limitations and its richness.”

Why did Montaigne write these essays though? According to The Conversation, “Some scholars argued that Montaigne began writing his essays as a want-to-be Stoic, hardening himself against the horrors of the French civil and religious wars, and his grief at the loss of his best friend Étienne de La Boétie through dysentery.

I am a student of the Ron Paul Curriculum, and I have had the chance to read many of Montaigne’s essays. I found many of them quite fascinating, but others I just was not into. Nevertheless, I really liked them all, and if I had the chance to read them again, I probably would, but it all depends on the essay that I would be reading. Tons of other people enjoyed the essays too, just like I did.

Some of Montaigne’s greatest essays are “Of Profit and Honesty”, “Of Repentance”, “Of Three Commerces”, “Of Diversion”, “Upon Some Verses of Virgil”, “Of Coaches”, “Of the Inconvenience of Greatness”, “Of the Art of Conference”, and many many more. There are three books to hold the one hundred and seven essays. Montaigne also edited his essays at various different points in his life. Sometimes it would be one to a few words, and other times he would edit whole passages! These essays were very influential back then and probably still are today.

What was English life like under Oliver Cromwell? Cromwell was a Puritan, so he was very strict with his laws. In fact, anyone who was seen playing a specific game on Sunday would be whipped and punished. His laws were very strict. He even banned Christmas as we would have known it today. Over time, Cromwell became a hated man. Cromwell eventually died in 1658. Later, his body was put on trial, found guilty, and “executed” it.

What was the Glorious Revolution? The Glorious Revolution involved replacing King James II with his daughter Mary and her husband William of Orange. The reasons for this revolution were mainly religious oppositions. Why is the Glorious Revolution significant in English history? According to History, “Many historians believe the Glorious Revolution was one of the most important events leading to Britain’s transformation from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy. After this event, the monarchy in England would never hold absolute power again.”

On what grounds does Locke believe people can establish a claim to property ownership over a previously unowned good? According to Libertarianism, “…Locke held that individuals could come to acquire property rights in previously unowned goods by ‘mixing their labour’ with it, ‘for this labour being the unquestionable property of the labourer, no man but he can have a right to what that is once joined to'”

Fredric Bastiat was a French economist, writer, and he was a prominent member of the French Liberal School. He was born on June 30, 1801 in Bayonne, France, and died on December 24, 1850 in Rome, Italy. According to Wikipedia, “He was described as “the most brilliant economic journalist who ever lived” by economic theorist Joseph Schumpeter. As an advocate of classical economics and the economics of Adam Smith, his views favored a free market and influenced the Australian School. He is best known for his book The Law where he argued that law must protect rights such as private property, not “plunder” others’ property.”

While he was a member of the French National Assembly, he developed the economic concept of opportunity cost, and he also introduced to everyone the parable of the broken window. According to Wikipedia, “The parable of the broken window was introduced by French economist Frédéric Bastiat in his 1850 essay “That Which We See and That Which We Do Not See” (“Ce qu’on voit et ce qu’on ne voit pas”) to illustrate why destruction, and the money spent to recover from destruction, is not actually a net benefit to society.” Bastiat also wrote many other essays such as The LawTaxes, and several others, most of which are located in his book That Which is Seen and That Which is Not Seen. He is best known for his book The Law. According to Academy of Ideas, ” The Law, a work written by the French political philosopher and economist Frederic Bastiat in 1850, investigates what happens in a society when the law becomes a weapon used by those in power to control and enslave the population.”

Describe Bastiat’s concept of the politics of plunder. According to OLL, “The basis for Bastiat’s theory of class was the notion of plunder which he defined as the taking of another person’s property without their consent by force or fraud. Those who lived by plunder constituted “les spoliateurs” (the plunderers) or “la classe spoliatrice” (the plundering class).” Plunder is when someone forcibly takes the property of another person. According to OLL, “The French economist Fredric Bastiat (1801-1850) developed a theory of plunder in the late 1840s which he defined in the following way: When a portion of wealth passes from the person who has acquired it, without his consent and without compensation, to someone who has not created it, whether this is by force or fraud, I say that there has been a violation of property rights and that there has been an act of plunder.” So this is an example of plunder. According to AP News, “Bastiat observed that ‘when plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.'” So Bastiat observed that basically when a group in a society practices plundering, over time they eventually create for themselves a system that makes plundering legal and a moral code that glorifies the system.

According to Wikipedia, “John Foxe, an English historian and martyrologist, was the author of Acts and Monuments, telling of Christian martyrs throughout Western history, but particularly the sufferings of English Protestants and proto-Protestants from the 14th century and in the reign of Mary I.” According to Got Questions, “John Foxe (also spelled Fox, 1516—1587) was an English Puritan preacher and church historian. As a youth, Foxe’s brilliance was recognized, and at Oxford University he earned a master’s degree and a fellowship (similar to a modern scholarship) at Magdalen College. His first literary endeavors were in poetry and Latin comedies. Foxe began researching church history to help him better understand the controversies regarding the Catholic Church and the Reformation. Foxe studied the Scriptures as well as the writings of the early church fathers.” According to Britannica, “John Foxe, (born 1516, Boston, Lincolnshire, Eng.—died April 18, 1587, Cripplegate, London), English Puritan preacher and author of The Book of Martyrs, a graphic and polemic account of those who suffered for the cause of Protestantism. Widely read, often the most valued book beside the Bible in the households of English Puritans, it helped shape popular opinion about Roman Catholicism for at least a century.”

Foxe’s greatest work, his book Acts and Monuments (popularly known as Foxe’s Book of Martyrs), is a work of Protestant history and martyrology. It was first published in the year 1563. According to Wikipedia, “After his death, Foxe’s Acts and Monuments continued to be published and appreciatively read. John Burrow refers to it as, after the Bible, ‘the greatest single influence on English Protestant thinking of the late Tudor and early Stuart period.'” According to Digital Commons, “We assert that Foxe’s Book of Martyrs was published for these purposes: personal reasons, a tribute to Queen Elizabeth, and to gain support for the Protestant faith and belief.” This book was probably one of the most influential books of its time. According to Wikipedia, Acts and Monuments “includes a polemical account of the sufferings of Protestants under the Catholic Church, with particular emphasis on England and Scotland. The book was highly influential in those countries and helped shape lasting popular notions of Catholicism there. The book went through four editions in Foxe’s lifetime and a number of later editions and abridgements, including some that specifically reduced the text to a Book of Martyrs.” According to Christian Today, “The works of church historians rarely influence history itself, but John Foxe’s Acts and Monuments of Matters Happening to the Church—commonly known as Foxe’s Book of Martyrs—is the exception that proves the rule.”

Is the language of Foxe still compelling today? The language of Foxe spoke to a lot of its readers. He also put several memorable images into his book. The language that Foxe used to speak to his readers was very compelling to the sixteenth and seventeenth century people, but due to the type of society and world that we live in today, it might not be as compelling as it was three hundred years ago. So, I think that the language of Foxe can be compelling to some people, but not all people.

What was the English Civil War all about? According to Wikipedia, “The English Civil War was a series of civil wars and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists led by Charles I, mainly over the manner of England’s governance and issues of religious freedom.” Eventually, the Parliamentarians were victorious in this war and sentenced Charles I to death. Eleven years later, Charles I’s son, Charles II, ascended to the throne. The losses of this war were crazy high, nearly 4.5% of the entire population. This war was devastating to England.

Who were the Levellers, and what did they believe? According to Wikipedia, “The Levellers were a political movement active during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms who were committed to popular sovereignty, extended suffrage, equality before the law and religious tolerance.” The name levellers was a derisory term used for rural rebels. Many members would have preferred to be referred to as “agitators”, however, the name “levellers” just stuck.

What was the key issue that led to the outbreak of the Thirty Years’ War? The main cause for the thirty years war was when Emperor Ferdinand II tried to force the protestants into Catholicism and the protestants rebelled, causing the outbreak of the thirty years war. The war eventually ended with the Peace of Westphalia. What religious accommodation was reached by Catholics and Protestants in the Peace of Westphalia? Basically, this peace meant that the two religions were recognized as equal and that the princes were allowed to choose any religion for their territory and force the people in that territory to conform to that religion.

Thomas More’s book Utopia is basically a book on the idea of a perfect world, or at least a very healthy and prosperous world. In this book, Utopia is a very prosperous city. Everyone is happy, there are very little conflicts, and they only fight wars if they help a neighboring city fight against an invader despite the fact that they hate wars.

Was More really risking persecution by the church because of his book? In Utopia, More never undermined the church and the book was written in clear satire, so no, he was not risking persecution because of his book.